Author: Abigail Summerville
Computer-generated videos are getting more realistic and even harder to detect, as WSJ’s Jason Bellini explains in this video. (Originally published in October 2018)
Startups and government agencies are researching ways to combat doctored images ahead of the 2020 election.
Startup companies, government agencies and academics are racing to combat so-called deepfakes, amid fears that doctored videos and photographs will be used to sow discord ahead of next year’s U.S. presidential election.
It is a difficult problem to solve because the technology needed to manipulate images is advancing rapidly and getting easier to use, according to experts. And the threat is spreading, as smartphones have made cameras ubiquitous and social media has turned individuals into broadcasters, leaving companies that run those platforms unsure how to handle the issue.
“While synthetically generated videos are still easily detectable by most humans, that window is closing rapidly. I’d predict we see visually undetectable deepfakes in less than 12 months,” said Jeffrey McGregor, chief executive officer of Truepic, a San Diego-based startup that is developing image-verification technology. “Society is going to start distrusting every piece of content they see.”
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